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Offering an alternative vision of education since 1881

St Cuthbert's - Catholic High School

A Catholic education for boys of all faiths and none

Offering an alternative vision of education since 1881



St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School is first and foremost a Catholic School and therefore offers the boys who attend a holistic Catholic education or formation. The Second Vatican Council heralded a review and reform of the Catholic Church in the 1960s.

It as concerned both with ressourcement “return to the authoritative sources” of Christian faith, for the purpose of rediscovering their truth and meaning in order to meet the critical challenges of our time. Ifressourcementis about revitalization, renewal, then the oft mentioned, but often misunderstood concept, aggiornamento is essentially a question of a new and wider contextualisation, with the aim of finding new ways to rethink and reformulate the fundamental affirmations of the Christian faith in order to more effectively communicate the Gospel. Following the Second Vatican Council the Church published a document setting out what Catholic schools were about 

For the Church, Catholic schools are, like the gospels, about promoting the growth and formation of human beings, the whole person; and that the identity and whole mode of operation of a school that calls itself Catholic must be rooted in the Gospel of Jesus: 

The Church “establishes her own schools because she considers them as a privileged means of promoting the formation of the whole person, since the school is a centre in which a specific concept of the world, of human beings, and of history is developed and conveyed. . . . It is precisely in the Gospel of Christ, taking root in the minds and lives of the faithful, that the Catholic school finds its definition . . .

Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education
The Catholic School (1977) n.8-9 

Our school is committed to ‘forming fine young men of integrity, men of competence, men of conscience, men of compassion and men of commitment’. Our curriculum upholds the key principles of Catholic education. Education is preparation for life, which is itself a preparation for eternal life. Catholic education is concerned with the ways in which pupils and students will make use of their formation in the service for others ‘for the praise, reverence and service of God’. We aim to instil a joy in learning and a desire to learn that will remain beyond the days in school.

At St Cuthbert’s our curriculum and therefore the quality of our education is based upon the following key principles.

Catholic Education is Instrumental"

Catholic education is instrumental. The Church teaches that education is not an end in itself but a means to the service of God. This is an important insight that must find explicit expression in the motivation of staff and the planning of all programmes of study.  

Catholic Education is Pupil Centred"

Catholic education is pupil/student-centred. The goal of a Catholic education is to produce independent learners who internalise the skills of learning and eventually are able to act without the support of the formal educational environment. Catholic education is, therefore, adapted to the individual and, as far as possible, responds to the individual’s abilities, needs and interests. It emphasises the self-activity of the pupil and attempt to make the pupil the primary agent in the learning situation. In Catholic education the goal of the teacher is to decrease while the pupil increases in the direction of his own learning.  

Catholic Education is Characterised by Structure & Flexibility"

In Catholic education, the organisation of the educational process is systematic and sequential ad aimed at a definite overall purpose. However, within the framework, significant freedom and adaptation is both expected and encouraged. The structure always includes a definite statement of objectives and systematic procedures for evaluation and accountability, for constant reflection on how to improve performance.

Catholic Education is Eclectic"

In Catholic education ideas and approach are derived from a broad and diverse range of sources. It draws on the best methods and techniques available and incorporates those methods that best help towards achieving its goals.

Catholic Education is Personal"

Catholic Education does not focus upon a superficial grasp or understanding of a wide range of ideas, but emphasises the importance of a profound insight and study of essential truths.

Student at St Cuthbert's making a sculpture out of clay

In accordance with the key principles and seeking to provide a holistic Catholic formation to all boys, we work to ensure that our curriculum has:

  • a criterion of excellence in all aspects
  • a commitment to care for the individual by ensuring our curriculum is centred on the individual rather than just the material to be covered, allowing them to develop and to accomplish objectives at a pace suited to individual
  • aspirational pathways for all our pupils which will give them the qualifications and skills for their next steps in education
  • a structure to help pupils to realise that their talents are for the good of the human community, to form young men who will live their lives in the service of others
  • a broad curriculum which gives pupils a breadth of experience and knowledge with a balance between the classroom and co-curricular opportunities
  • a focus on developing individual responsibility and a love of learning in all pupils
  • a focus on developing the imaginative, the affective and the creative dimensions of each pupil
  • opportunities to develop leadership and teamwork
  • opportunities to help pupils in their formation of values and attitudes
  • a relentless focus on education and action to keep ensure all pupils are safe and help them understand how to stay safe

Our curriculum fulfils these through the following:

1. Curriculum Design

  • a broad 3-year Key Stage 3 curriculum which gives pupils the breadth of curriculum experience
  • Key Stage 3 Arts Rotation which ensures that pupils have increased opportunity to develop and hone their skills in the Arts.
  • a strong commitment to the EBacc
  • introduction of at least two modern foreign languages from Year 7 (French & Spanish) with additional opportunity to study Mandarin for the most able pupils (SWIRE Programme)
  • Key Stage 3 outreach pilot programme for the advancement of modern foreign languages in Key Stage 2 
  • aspirational target setting for all pupils
  • pathways that are matched to pupil need, interest, and aspiration including Year 7 & 8 Nurture Provision for those boys who need additional support with either cognition and learning or social, emotional and/or mental health needs 

2. Teaching

  • ensuring that teaching is pitched at the appropriate level for pupils
  • teaching that builds on previous skills and content taught and revisits them at key points
  • purposeful assessment and feedback which identifies strengths and next steps to be taken
  • an emphasis on developing high standards of literacy and numeracy
  • teaching that develops independent, reflective learners and enquiring minds

3. Outside the Classroom

  • developing pupils’ cultural capital through exchanges, school trips and visiting speakers which deepen pupils’ understanding of their subjects and the wider world
  • a diverse PSHE offer which embeds a Catholic and therefore holistic approach to values including British Values
  • an extensive range of co-curricular activities and clubs
  • careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) at every key stage
  • individual pupil guidance for the next stage in their education at GCSE, A Level and University.

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0191 274 4510

St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School, Gretna Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 7PX

Bishop Bewick

Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust

St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School is a proud member of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust. The Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Company Registration No. 7841435.


0191 274 4510

St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School, Gretna Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 7PX